The width of a column is determined by the number of characters that can be displayed within a cell that is located within that column. In this part of your Excel training, I plan to show you how you can change the default width of an Excel column to fit and display the information that you need to.
The default width is 8.43 characters, but you can change column width in Excel from 0 to 255 characters, where a width of 0 indicates that the column is hidden. After you take this online Excel class, you’ll be a master of configuring columns to your exact specifications.
If the characters within the cell extend beyond the default width and there is data within the cell immediately to the right, only the first 8.43 characters will be displayed. Our online Excel classes will show you how to manipulate columns, including the changing of their width.
Numerical data that exceeds the default characters will appear as a series of number signs (#), which are alternatively called pound signs or hash marks. This makes navigating data confusing and muddled, especially when printing the worksheet. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to change the column width in Excel to have all characters in the cell visible.
You can change any column’s width in Excel by clicking on the grid line between two columns and dragging until the column is wide enough to view all characters in the cells. When you click on the grid line between the two columns, a box appears that shows the column width in terms of characters.
My Excel training will show you other methods of adjusting the width of an Excel spreadsheet column.
Another way to change the width of a column in Excel is to right-click on any column and choose “column width” from the menu. The dialogue box will appear showing the current width. To adjust this, simply enter in the number of characters you want and click OK.
In the Home tab of the ribbon you can change the column width by choosing “format from the cell” formatting box. Select “column width” from the menu and the column width dialogue box will appear. Enter the number of characters you wish to change the width to and click OK.
In our online Excel training, I’ll teach you how to automatically change numerous aspects of your Excel spreadsheets. This, of course, includes automatically changing column width. Adjusting a column to automatically fit the cell with the largest amount of data is called autofitting in Excel classes. To autofit, double-click the grid-line between two columns and the column to the left will increase or decrease in width to fit the data.
“Autofit column width” can also be found in the format menu of the cell formatting box located in the Home tab. You can use autofit to automatically adjust all columns within the worksheet by clicking the select all button (highlighted above) and either selecting “autofit column width” from the format menu or double-clicking the first grid line between column A and column B.
Use format painter to change the column width by selecting a column that has the desired width, clicking the format painter icon in the Home tab and clicking on the column(s) you want to change.
As you progress in your Microsoft Excel training, you’ll quickly learn the importance of the “keep source formatting” button. When copying and pasting columns be sure to select “paste special” and choose “keep source formatting” to keep the adjusted column width. Otherwise Excel will change the width back to the default.
If you wanted to change column width in Excel for the entire worksheet, you can do so in the “format cells” box in the home tab. Again, select “format,” choose “default width,” and then set the desired number of characters before hitting OK.
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In this part of your Excel training, I showed you one relatively simple function of the spreadsheet program that we all know and hopefully by the end of this online Excel course-have come to love. If your goal is to have the greatest understanding of the program as possible, continue perusing our assorted online Excel courses to expand upon your knowledge!